"Dear God," she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me hungry...have too much to eat. Let me ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost'" A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Chapter 48.
I finished this book yesterday and had to let it settle before I wrote about it. I had to think long and hard before summarizing this book because it's not really about anything but at the same time about so much. The quote posted above from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn I felt sums up the entire novel. Francie Nolan, an 11 year old girl at the beginning of the novel, is a child growing up in pre WWI America. Her family is poor and struggle everyday to live. Francie, while she understands here family's poverty, doesn't let her situation hold her back. Her education is important and she learns new things about people and the world everyday. Francie's journey into adulthood is documented throughout Smith's novel.
I can not say enough about this book. I loved it so much and am sad that this is the first time that I have read this book, I know it will be one I will pick up many times in the future. Throughout the novel, I found myself traveling back to my own childhood and comparing it to Francie's. Francie also reminded me how important the written word is and what it is to be a passionate and well balanced person. It is no wonder why many before me have read and loved this book and I recommend it to all who are looking for a new perspective on life. While I have so much to say about this novel, I feel that I don't have the words to express what this book now means to me. All I can say is that everyone should read this book. For those who have, I would love to hear what your thoughts on the novel were.
I read this book back in January for my Young Adult Lit class. Some of the following posts will be reviews on the books I read earlier in the year.
Cures for Heartbreak follows 15 year old Mia Pearlman as she is faced with the sudden death of her mother. While trying to cope with this loss Mia is forced to recognize the relationships that surround her. Her father is dealing with his own grief and her older sister doesn't seem to understand her at all. In the whirlwind of her family difficulties, Mia is also still faced with the feelings of self loathing and acceptance that most 15 year old girls face in high school. In everything Mia does and everyone she meets, she begins to develop a new understanding of her dead mother, her surviving family, and the friendships she begins to develop. In everything Mia is asked to deal with throughout her ordeal, she begins to understand the importance of accepting herself in the midst of her tragedy.
While recognizing that this book has a lot to do with loss, upon finishing Cures for Heartbreak I felt that it had more to do with identity. Rabb, while using the death of a significant role model, introduces how major life events shape one's identity and it is how they deal in different situations that make them into their individual self. Mia recognizes things in a different way that she might not have because of the death of her mother and they are experiences that wouldn't of happened if her mother had survived her diagnosis. However, Mia's ultimate problem is being able to face the rest of her life without the guide of her mother and so she must come to terms with not only her faults but the faults of the people that surround her.
I really enjoyed this book but I think that it wasn't personal enough for me. I have never faced a tremendous loss, so it was difficult for me to connect to the character. I think this will be an interesting book to re-read someday and will probably get more out of it. However, I really was interested in Mia's story and was rooting for her throughout the novel.
I am so excited, my new blog is up and running and it is more beautiful then I ever imagined. I have to give a huge thanks to Lori of Use Your Imagination Designs for the design, it is absolutely awesome! I am so excited that it is done in time for a great summer full of wonderful books. I hope you come back often to check out what I am reading and even give me some hints on what to read next. I look forward to all of your input and discussing books with everyone. My ratings for books are on the right side of the page and will be posted at the bottom of each review, 1 cute bird for really disliking a book and 5 cute birds for a book that I really enjoyed. I will do my best to post at least twice a week but during a difficult semester I can't make any promises...I will try my best! I hope everyone enjoys my blog as I look forward to this new adventure. Happy reading everyone!!!
Imagine walking down the street and being fed advertising banners for everything you look at and everything you think. You are able to talk to your friends much like today but instead of computer or cell phone chat, you chat through your head. This is life with the feed, a chip implanted at birth that tracks your every move, thought, and feeling. It's hard to imagine life without the feed for the kids in this book and they are even able to travel to the moon and all of the other planets in our solar system. Everything is normal for Titus and his friends until they go to a party on the moon where they are hacked and their feeds disabled. Titus, with the help of his new love interest Violet, is able to see life in a new perspective. Is life better with or without the feed and what new things will the kids in feed discover about themselves and the world they live in?
This was such a great YA novel to kick off my summer reading! It was a quick and entertaining read and I really enjoyed imagining a life like the ones in this book. The book scared me a little bit however because I feel that sometimes our country isn't that far off from technology like this and it made me realize how much I rely on technology to get through my day. However, it was fun stepping into a future world and reading how Titus and his friends would keep up with each other using the feed to guide them. There were a couple questions that I feel are still unanswered like, what about the lesions; I would have liked a definite answer on how they began and how they spread (throughout the novel, it is hinted that the lesions are caused by the technology inserted in each person's body). One of my favorite characters in the book was actually Violet's father, it was really neat to hear what it was like for him living in a society who all had feeds when him and his family were basically living without them. It was interesting seeing his perspective mostly because his daughter is the one who ends up having trouble with the feed (for more on this you will just have to read the book, I don't want to give anything away!) All in all, I really enjoyed this book and was sad when it ended. I think people of all ages will enjoy this book and it would be fun to discuss it with anyone else who has read it.